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The Cardiac Kings and a Long January

This has been, without doubt, the longest month in terms of my career as a Kings fan. Let's put it in perspective by looking at the 16 games briefly:

Jan 2, vs NYK: Ron-Ron explodes for 39, the Kings win by 12. Game never really in doubt.

Jan 4, vs LAL: Do I need to remind you? The Kings were down 16 at the half. They come back and take their first lead of the game at 109-108, with 2 min 14 sec in regulation. With the lead, both Bibby and Martin miss key free throws down the stretch, and the Kings allow Smush Parker to waltz into the lane for a layup to send it to OT. In a close overtime, Kobe ends up finishing the job with a string of free throws. Kings lose by 4.

Jan 6, vs POR: Brandon Roy hits a jumper at the buzzer to send it to overtime, after Martin missed a couple free throws. Zach Randolph puts the Blazers ahead for good with a minute left in OT. Blazers by 5.

Jan 9, vs CLE: Kings lead by 15 at half. Cavs outscore Kings 37-17 in third. Cavs win by 10.

Jan 12, at POR: Kings lead 55-51 with six minutes left in the third. Portland gets the lead within 30 seconds and pulls away. Kings lose by 8.

Jan 13, vs HOU: Kings send it to OT with a Ron-Ron bank shot three. They get their asses smoked in OT. Kings lose by 4.

Jan 15, at NYK: Three lead changes in the final 37 seconds. Down 1 with 15 seconds to go, Corliss gets called for an illegal screen. After Jamal Crawford hits two free throws, Ron-Ron bricks a three. Game over. Kings lose by 5.

Jan 17, at TOR: Kings lead by 1 after three quarters. Toronto outscores Sacramento 33-16 in the final period. Kings lose by 16.

Jan 19, at BOS: Kings trail by 1 with 4 min left. They pull it out and win by 5.

Jan 20, at DET: This game was never close. Kings lose by 17.

Jan 22, vs NJN: After trailing by as much as 20, Kings win by 1 at the buzzer on a Mike Bibby second-chance jumper.

Jan 24, vs MIL: Bucks get as close as 6 in the final frame, but the Kings hold on to win by 8.

Jan 26, at NOK: Kings lead by 4 at the half, but score only 10 in the third. Kings come back to tie with less than 2 min left in the game. Hornets get back on top with a ridiculous Devin Brown three and win by 4.

Jan 27, at DAL: Kings play tug-o-war with the Mavs the entire game, and lead by 4 goig into the fourth. Dallas takes control in the fourth until Bibby hits a three to get within one with 45 sec left. Nowitzki hits a jumper to get the Kings deficit back to 3. Kings miss, Mavs hit one of two FTs, Brad Miller hits a three, Dirk hits two FTs, Kings trail by 3 with 3 sec to go. Mavs foul Salmons intentionally, game over. Kings lose by 2.

Jan 29, at MEM: Kings lead by 10 going into the fourth. Memphis scores 41 in the final quarter. Kings lose by 7. TZ stabs toothpick into his retina.

Jan 31, at MIN: Kings lead by small margins most of the night. Wolves chip away, take their first lead in a long time with less than a minute left. Kevin F*cking Martin answered with a clinical pumpfake-to-stepup-jumper. Salmons stripped Foye, who was going for the win. Kings win by 2.

In January, the Kings' 11 losses came by a total of 82 pts. Their 5 wins came by a total of 28 pts. Yes, they went 5-11 while only getting outscored by a total of 54 pts. Amazingly bad.

Just imagine if a couple more of those close games went the Kings' way. Instead of 5-11, they could very realistically have been 8-8 in January, and not far from .500. Instead, after a win, they sit eight games away from Mason-Dixon. Damn.